The communication also mentioned the political reasons for the discussions. He said that a free trade agreement “…… we will also intensify our efforts to strengthen democracy and support the region`s core values. One of the reasons for the negotiations with the four countries is that a regional strategy will contribute to the fight against drug trafficking. (7) It has also drawn attention to several issues of concern to the United States: the protection of workers` rights in Ecuador; disputes between U.S. investors in Peru; violence against trade unionists and disputes with U.S. investors in Colombia; and the need to cooperate with Bolivia and other Andean countries in building capacity. However, a number of other groups oppose a free trade agreement with the United States. On 9 September 2004, a coalition of 51 workers, religions and environmental groups wrote to the USTR asking it to suspend negotiations. They argued that the negotiations had been conducted in secret, that there had been no reasonable dialogue with public opinion, and that the Andean negotiations had been modelled by the failure of trade agreements.
(22) Signatories included the AFL-CIO, the American Friends Service Committee and the Public Citizen. Pablo Arosemena, President of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce: “The signing of the first phase agreement between the United States and Ecuador will focus on: 1) facilitating trade, i.e. simplifying international trade procedures between the two countries; 2) the importance of reducing the regulatory burden; 3) benefits for small businesses through simplified customs procedures to strengthen their role in value chains; and 4.) how to make progress in the fight against corruption. One example is the automation of customs control methods to control and limit corruption. The main issues, such as the reduction of tariffs on different products, including sensitive products (for example. B agricultural products), are no longer addressed at this stage. However, there is still time to negotiate. From the point of view of this government, there is a good chance of reaching an extended trade agreement. This will depend on the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Ecuador and how the new government will deal with trade issues with our main trading partner.
If the pro-market candidate, Guillermo Lasso, wins the next presidential elections, the trade agreement will probably be implemented. Here are some of the most difficult problems in the Andes-U.S. Free trade negotiations. (24) In addition to the following negotiations, other issues such as trade in services, e-commerce and government procurement were negotiated. Trade negotiators identified difficulties in the agricultural sector and intellectual property rights as the main obstacles to an agreement. Andean negotiators said at the time that the United States needed to be more flexible in these areas. U.S. trade agents said that the U.S. was very interested in reaching an agreement in these areas, but that it was also clear to set out their expectations before negotiations began. (25) 15.